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Frugal Holidays 2008

post #1 of 389
Thread Starter 
So I am starting this because last year there was a HUGE thread on what everyone was spending/saving/making for the holidays. It had the BEST ideas and I am hoping everyone will start thinking about it and bringing ideas to the table!

For us: We go home to MN from TX for Xmas, so unless my parents buy one or two of the tickets, there will not be a lot of extra gift money.

Last year, I was pretty creative, but still in the end, I was rushing around and spent A LOT of money.

I could really use some good ideas!
post #2 of 389
Well I have made candy for the holidays for years, so that's what DH's family all get. They all insist on getting presents for everyone, so it is just crazy chaos. Personally this year I would love to have a mellow at home Christmas eve, we'll see.

Anyway, I start making/freezing candy in late Nov., this year all supplies will be bought from Costco(i already have some in my stock pile). I am hoping to convince DH to make DD a doll house that I could easily decorate with bargain stuff. Adult family members are getting gift baskets with a pic of DD(or family) and either coffee stuff, or stuff for movie night. I can easily make one of these for 10 bucks with stuff from the dollar store. I think I'll get my Grandma a gc to the movies(she loves them). That about it, we need to start saving.
post #3 of 389
I bought up some white and chocolate bark to put in the freezer. That will become gifts (coated coffee spoons, candy, pretzels) in December. I'm also thinking about crocheting some string bags for the little girls in the family.

Looking forward to some great ideas. It's hard to believe that it's almost June.
post #4 of 389
I'm making huckleberry jam (a Montana speciality) for all of my siblings who have moved away from Montana.

We draw names in my immediate family, so, in addition to the jam, which ever sibling I draw is getting a basket filled with the following:

*homemade chai mix
*homemade oil/balsamic vinegar mix for dipping bread (like at Great Harvest bakery, but for waaaaay less than the $$$ they want for theirs )
*homemade granola in a reusable cereal dispenser
*a tin of homemade molasses cookies (that I am famous for, and for which I refuse to divulge the recipe - keeps them grateful! )
*homemade buffalo jerky (I know a place locally where I can get buffalo meat for less than beef. I only need a pound to make the jerky, and using buffalo adds to the "Montana-ness" of the gift basket.)

My children's teachers are getting the gifts I received from people at my office last year and didn't want. :

My children are a little harder. They're really past the age when homemade toys are good gifts, and they really don't need anything.
post #5 of 389
I'm going to knit DD a blanket because she watns a "big girl" one. I may try to knit hats/mittens for my sisters and SILs. Knitting is the only "crafty" thing I know how to do. I'm looking forward to reading what others are doing/making.

One thing I am going to do is plan and not go overboard. We're doing three gifts for each child and just one for adults. Last year we did the three gift rule, but one "gift" was toy cars and a road "carpet" - all the gifts were like that - one idea with 18 things to it! Also, much of our holiday money is spent on last minute gifts because we don't think we did "enough."

I would love to make (if I knew how to sew - I should learn!) is a quillow. I wanted one for DS last year with one side of it being a town with roads that he could drive his toy cars on. Fold it up, use it in the car as a pillow, unfold it at Gramma's for instant fun.
post #6 of 389
Ooo, I like the homemade granola idea, because I make tasty granola.

Last year, I read about making homemade hot cocoa mix. I am going to do that this year for my sis, because she's a nut about hot chocolate in the winter.

I wanted to knit a blanket for someone last year and did not find that saved me money. The yarn was really expensive.

My parents and ILs don't need much at this point in their lives, so we often give them photos of the DD. Last year, we had a professional photographer take pics of us and I put some of them in frames. I was happy to see that these photos had been placed on the wall at my IL's home.
post #7 of 389
I'm having babe #4 right around Christmas, so presents this year are going to be VERY easy and laid back.

For most of the people on our list, they'll be getting homemade beeswax candles, a set of votives and a set of hand dipped tapers. They'll be wrapped in a pretty ribbon and that's about it.

My kiddos are still pretty small so homemade toys and such are still a big hit, same w/ my best friend's kids who are the same age as mine.

Not really sure what I'm doing for DH yet.
post #8 of 389
Thread Starter 
kathirynne- your gift baskets sound AWESOME!!!!

I love all of the "gourmet" foods you make...I bet people think those are awesome!!

I love the holidays, hence the name, and it's fun to plan and think about them from about June on!
post #9 of 389
I love the holidays, too. Everyone thinks I'm crazy when I start saying "Its time to think about Christmas"...in May.

I am going to do homemade gifts - jam, candy or beeswax candles - for family and friends. (I will probably also get my nieces and nephew a nice holiday themed book.)

With the kids, we do the Twelve Days of Christmas, with 12 different activities each day. (Used to be activities and/or gifts.) Like, one day we'll drive around looking at lights drinking hot chocolate while listening to holiday music, another day we'll bake cookies, another build gingerbread houses, another make ornaments for the tree, etc. Basically turning all the traditions into an "event" in and of themselves - helps us not focus on just that ONE day.

As far as gifts go, we usually do three gifts for all the kids, but I'm hoping we can transition to one Christmas gift for each. (That might not happen until next year, though.)
post #10 of 389
We're having a baby in September and flying to a family wedding in December... so yeah, holiday $$ is going to be rather slim.

Most of my friends and family have specific dietary issues, so the food and candy ideas often don't work for us. I can knit, but that can be pretty expensive.

I'm rather stumped.
post #11 of 389
I really only buy for one family - my goddaughter, her younger sister, and parents. Kids will get a Christmas ornament for St. Nicholas Day and a book for Christmas. Parents will get a pound of coffee. They're great coffee buffs, and will be moving away for the husband's grad school for a year - so money will be VERY tight. The coffee will be much appreciated. I always search around for interesting looking ones, preferrably fair trade.

I might get my boss a $10 gift card for Subway. Might exchange with another friend or two, but not sure. I've got lots of cards bought on sale in previous years. Will try to do more e-cards.

I can usually do Christmas for $100 total or less.
post #12 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
I can usually do Christmas for $100 total or less.
What does that include? Just curious, do you mean $100 just in gifts? Or everything (food, tree - if you do that, etc.)
post #13 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post
I'm making huckleberry jam (a Montana speciality) for all of my siblings who have moved away from Montana.

We draw names in my immediate family, so, in addition to the jam, which ever sibling I draw is getting a basket filled with the following:

*homemade chai mix
*homemade oil/balsamic vinegar mix for dipping bread (like at Great Harvest bakery, but for waaaaay less than the $$$ they want for theirs )
*homemade granola in a reusable cereal dispenser
*a tin of homemade molasses cookies (that I am famous for, and for which I refuse to divulge the recipe - keeps them grateful! )
*homemade buffalo jerky (I know a place locally where I can get buffalo meat for less than beef. I only need a pound to make the jerky, and using buffalo adds to the "Montana-ness" of the gift basket.)

My children's teachers are getting the gifts I received from people at my office last year and didn't want. :

My children are a little harder. They're really past the age when homemade toys are good gifts, and they really don't need anything.
is the chai mix to make chai Lattes?? Like the Tazo stuff?? Would you share the recipe???

And ..... I see nothing wrong with regifting!!
post #14 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyPrincess View Post
I love the holidays, too. Everyone thinks I'm crazy when I start saying "Its time to think about Christmas"...in May.

I am going to do homemade gifts - jam, candy or beeswax candles - for family and friends. (I will probably also get my nieces and nephew a nice holiday themed book.)

With the kids, we do the Twelve Days of Christmas, with 12 different activities each day. (Used to be activities and/or gifts.) Like, one day we'll drive around looking at lights drinking hot chocolate while listening to holiday music, another day we'll bake cookies, another build gingerbread houses, another make ornaments for the tree, etc. Basically turning all the traditions into an "event" in and of themselves - helps us not focus on just that ONE day.

As far as gifts go, we usually do three gifts for all the kids, but I'm hoping we can transition to one Christmas gift for each. (That might not happen until next year, though.)
with the candles ... how time consuming/expensive/messy/user friendly is this?? This may be something I'd like to try for gifts ...

Love the 12 Days ideas ....
post #15 of 389
subbing
post #16 of 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyPrincess View Post
What does that include? Just curious, do you mean $100 just in gifts? Or everything (food, tree - if you do that, etc.)
Mind you, I'm single. But that includes gifts, stamps (don't do a lot of cards), cards and wrapping left over from previous years, the pie or two I'll make/buy to take where I'm having Christmas dinner.

I don't DO a tree - no space. I have some wooden folk art-ish trees I put around the apt (3 - they were made for me about 18" high), and have a string of LED lights I hang in the front window. I'm minimal. I want lights and so I get that.
post #17 of 389
Need Feedback....
I was looking around at crochet/crafty type things...
What do you think of crocheted aprons for your bottle of dish detergent on the sink


http://www.crochetnmore.com/dishsoapapron.htm
http://blujay.com/item/New-Hand-Croc...110400-1633824

LOAF PAN TOTE- THIS LOOKS REALLY UNIQUE
http://www.crochetnmore.com/loafpantote.htm

**I have tubs and tubs of yarn, small skeins, left over yarn etc: so there is no real cost involved

Ok... would you like to recieve something like the above for the holidays?
post #18 of 389
1growingsprout - I'm not sure how well the dish soap apron would go over but the loaf pan holder is very cute.

Could you make any hotpads or those towels that you crochet the top so they can be hung on the fridge or oven without falling? I LOVED those towels when we got them as wedding gifts. You could start shopping for clearance towels throughout the year and maybe pick up a bunch of holiday ones so they have towels for different seasons/holidays.

Or what about some sort of cloth bag for shopping? I'd certainly use it! That way you could use lots of scraps to have cool multicolor bags. ETA: Maybe like this one http://www.crochetmemories.com/archive/misc15.html
post #19 of 389
I agree, I"d love hotpads or dishcloths made with leftover yarn rather than a dishsoap dress. I don't usually use much dishsoap because of the dishwasher.

Like one of these http://www.sugarncream.com/pattern.php?PID=144
post #20 of 389
ohhhhhh it's time to get started!!! The holidays are coming!!!!
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